News A defiant George Osborne during Treasury Questions in the House of Commons

George Osborne refused to rule out a cut in the top rate of tax from 45p to 40p today as the Conservatives and Labour clashed over the economy.

US jobless claims ease by 17,000

The outlook for the US labour market brightened a little yesterday after official figures showed a greater than anticipated decline in the number of Americans making new claims for unemployment benefits last week.

US inflation rises by 0.2 per cent in October

Inflation in America was slightly higher last month, but core consumer prices – which strip out the impact of volatile food and energy costs – rose at their slowest annual pace on record, official figures showed yesterday.

Spanish ministers in talks with business after zero growth

The Spanish government plans high-level meetings next week with private sector executives and labour representatives after the country reported zero growth in the third quarter.

Electoral slurs declared foul play as Woolas loses seat for personal attacks

Former immigration minister in three-year ban from Commons

Sir Jock Stirrup reveals Labour vetoed cuts to forces

Proposals put forward by defence chiefs for "painful" cuts to the armed forces were vetoed by Labour ministers, it was claimed yesterday. Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup,former chief of the defence staff, said that plans to reduce fast jet aircraft, ships and Army equipment were all overruled.

Dr Kelly wounds 'typical of self-inflicted injury'

Secret medical documents released today backed official conclusions that weapons inspector David Kelly killed himself as the Government sought to end speculation over his death.

Enlightenment, Hampstead Theatre, London

In one way it's business as usual at the Hampstead Theatre, a venue that draws its local audience from an area whose population is the densest in Europe – wait, the sentence isn't finished – with artists and writers. As before, the play takes on serious ideas and emotions but merely dabbles in them. But this first offering from Edward Hall, the new artistic director (who also directs the play) is a great step forward. While Hampstead plays, for the past several years, have delivered only irritation, dyspepsia and disbelief, Enlightenment is generous with entertainment – clever comedy, attractive and accomplished actors, a sparkling production. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Cold winter payments to Britain's poor may be cut

Emergency payments to help thousands of Britain's poorest pensioners and families pay for heating during cold snaps may be cut as part of the Coalition Government's spending review.

Steve Richards: Plenty of politics, but where was the economics in Osborne's speech?

Boris Johnson delivered a deftly crafted speech in which he put the case for public spending

Plan to delay Queen's Speech until 2012 sparks anger in House

The coalition government has been accused of a "major power grab" after announcing it will break more than 50 years of tradition by delaying the next Queen's Speech until 2012.

Read all about it: The secret dossier of lawbreaking that spells trouble for Rupert Murdoch...and David Cameron

Rebekah Brooks was among journalists who used a private detective who was later convicted

Sir Kenneth Clucas: Valued senior civil servant who later championed the cause of Citizens’ Advice Bureaux

Kenneth Clucas was one of the triumvirate of Permanent Secretaries appointed in the spring of 1974 when the incoming Labour Government broke up the old Department of Trade and Industry and created three departments out of it – Trade, Industry and Prices and Consumer Protection. Clucas got DPCP, not least due to a bit of wangling by Shirley Williams, the then-new Secretary of State. In her recent autobiography Climbing the Bookshelves she concludes "And that was how I came to get one of the best Permanent Secretaries in Whitehall".

US jobless figures set to raise fears of double dip

Investors are bracing themselves for another grim snapshot of the US labour market today, when the government is expected to confirm that unemployment is again on the rise.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices